Oct 6, 2012 | Views: 173
Thousands of indigenous Guatemalans shouted in anger Friday and some threw themselves at the coffins of six local people who were shot to death during a protest over electricity prices and educational reform in a poor rural area.
President Otto Perez Molina acknowledged that government forces had opened fire during the protest Thursday, after saying earlier that police and troops on the scene had been unarmed and the protesters had provoked the clash.
Cheap Beats By Dre,Human rights groups condemned the government's actions and charged they were part of a pattern of excessive use of force against protesters.
The protesters were blockading a highway near the town of Totonicapan, about 90 miles west of Guatemala City, when two vehicles carrying soldiers arrived to help police who had been ordered to evict the demonstrators. Gunfire erupted after the troops came. Bullets killed six people and wounded 34, officials said.
"We were protesting right next to them when they opened fire on us," said Rolando Carrillo, a 25-year-old protester with a bandaged arm and lacerated face that he said resulted from being hit during the clash.
The president told reporters Friday afternoon that armed security guards had driven the soldiers to the protest. One of the guards apparently was the first to start shooting and then an unspecified number of others fired at the crowd, Molina said.
He said seven soldiers injured in the confrontation had said they only fired into the air to protect themselves from what they considered to be a threatening crowd.
Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said the president had suspended the order to evict the protesters from the highway.
Some 20 human rights organizations called an emergency meeting in the capital to discuss the incident and called for a protest in front of the presidential palace.
"We've been saying for a long time that the army's use of force brings with it the risk that something like this could happen," said Francisco Soto, a representative of the Center for Legal Action and Human Rights.
The six dead were buried Friday afternoon in Totonicapan, where thousands gathered to watch their coffins pass through the town's central square. Hundreds shouted "Justice! Justice!" while dozens of mourners hurled themselves toward the coffins in grief.
Thursday's protest was fueled by anger at Molina, who has proposed constitutional reforms that he says will modernize Guatemala's economic and regulatory systems.Cheap Beats.
Among other changes, the reforms would set price caps on electricity, and require teachers to get a five-year bachelor's degree instead of a three-year vocational degree.
The protesters think the price caps are too high, and object to the longer process for obtaining a degree that many in the subsistence-farming area depend on to improve their livelihoods.
Beats By Dre Outlet,In a protest in May, about 200 people armed with machetes and guns briefly seized an army outpost in a province bordering Mexico to demand justice for the killing of a man who opposed the construction of a hydroelectric plant. Molina responded by declaring a state of siege in the area and granting the army emergency powers.
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Oct 5, 2012 | Views: 164
The opposition coalition that won Georgia's parliamentary election started talks with members of President Mikheil Saakashvili's party on Friday to ensure a smooth transition of power in the former Soviet republic.
Cheap Beats By Dre,Bidzina Ivanishvili, the billionaire head of Georgian Dream, the coalition that won a majority of parliament seats in the October 1 election after a bitter campaign, said he expected to nominate his cabinet on Monday.
A member of Saakashvili's United National Movement (UNM) reiterated the president's promise to cooperate in forming a government, the latest sign that Georgia's first post-Soviet transfer of power between parties through an election will be peaceful.
"It was a constructive and useful meeting," Ivanishvili told business leaders after his four allies in the Georgian Dream coalition held talks with four members of UNM. "I think we will be able to name a new government on Monday."
Ivanishvili, who is Georgia's richest man but only entered politics a year ago when he began to mount a challenge to Saakashvili's rule, did not reveal names of any nominees. He has said no members of the previous government would be retained.
Saakashvili, 44, a pro-Western leader swept to power in the peaceful 2003 Rose Revolution street protests that ejected the Soviet old guard in 2003, conceded his party's defeat on Tuesday based on partial results.
His concession won praise from the United States and other Western countries and organizations eager to see the Caucasus nations, a strategically located conduit for energy exports to Europe, avoid a showdown in the streets over the vote.
The new parliament should convene within 20 days of the election. The president formally presents the nominations for the cabinet, which needs a simple majority in the 150-seat chamber to be approved.
"We are not going to create any problems and the president will submit a cabinet which will be agreed with representatives of Georgian Dream," Pavle Kublashvili, a UNM member who took part in the talks at government headquarters, told Reuters.
Ivanishvili, 56, plans to be prime minister, a post that would make him Georgia's most powerful official when reforms weakening the head of state take effect after a presidential election next year.
He has called for calm since the election, as has Saakashvili whose final term ends next year, setting up an awkward period of political cohabitation with Ivanishvili.Cheap Beats.
Ivanishvili says he wants to improve ties with Moscow, badly damaged by a brief 2008 war that followed strains over Saakashvili's efforts to bring Georgia, dominated by Russia for nearly two centuries before the 1991 Soviet collapse, into NATO.
But he has said he will pursue integration with NATO and Europe and that his first trip abroad following the election will be to the United States, which has strongly supported Saakashvili during his presidency.
Georgia's electoral system allocates 77 of the 150 parliament seats according to party lists and the other 73 to he winners of races in individual constituencies.
A full ballot count showed Georgian Dream had 54.9 percent and the United National Movement had 40.4 percent of the party list votes, the Central Election Commission said on Friday.
Beats By Dre Cheap.In individual races Georgian Dream won 39 seats against 34 seats for the UNM, according to the commission. It has not announced exactly how many seats each party will have.
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Sep 24, 2012 | Views: 133
UN backing for the force is being sought by the Malian government and the West African regional body Ecowas.
Militant Islamists captured northern Mali in April, prompting fears of instability across the region.
Beats By Dre Cheap,Mali was initially opposed but has now agreed to host the 3,000-strong force in the capital, Bamako.
After intense regional diplomatic efforts, the authorities have given the green light for a logistical base on the outskirts of the city, BBC West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy reports.
Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore was known to be unhappy about foreign troops being posted in the capital.
On Monday France - which has offered to provide logistical support for a West African-led operation - said Mali had formally requested the approval of the UN Security Council for such a force.
'Serious rights violations'
On Friday, the UN Security Council expressed its concern about the "increasing entrenchment of terrorist elements including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliated groups" in northern Mali.
UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay has spoken of serious human rights violations and "possibly war crimes".
Although civilian rule has been restored in Bamako, the security council complained that former coup leaders were trying to interfere in the actions of Mali's interim government.Cheap Beats.
The request for 3,000 troops to help defeat the Islamists and regain control of the north will be considered during a meeting chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
Before the deployment can go ahead, it will need a mandate from the security council, which earlier rejected an intervention plan because of a lack of detail.
Some neighbouring countries, such as Algeria, oppose a military intervention in Mali, our correspondent says.
Beats By Dre Outlet,Islamists seized control of the north of the country, taking advantage of chaos that followed an army coup in March.
Sharia law has been implemented in the towns of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao and ancient shrines deemed idolatrous have been destroyed.
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